News

Absentee ballot deadlines extended for emergency personnel

Written by Megan Lello, witf Reporter and Producer | Nov 3, 2012 9:48 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Corbett is extending absentee ballot application and return deadlines for some emergency personnel working in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

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Here's the official statement from the Pennsylvania Department of State:

"Governor Corbett today issued an executive order extending the deadlines to apply for and return absentee ballots for emergency personnel called out to protect public safety and restore electricity in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The governor’s executive order allows voters who will be out of their county to apply for an absentee ballot until Monday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. This initial application may be made in person by the voter or a family member, or a copy may be faxed or e-mailed.  County election offices may then e-mail a ballot to the voter.

The order also allows ballots from emergency personnel covered under this order to be counted if the ballots are received by county election boards by 5 p.m. on the seventh day following the election, or Tuesday, Nov. 13.  This is the same provision that covers ballots cast by military and overseas voters.

“The governor’s action recognizes the extraordinary sacrifices many people are making to help their fellow citizens recover from this storm,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele, whose department oversees elections.  “We are asking all employers to help their employees vote by making computers and printers available to print ballots and applications.”

While this executive order permits voters to initially apply for absentee ballots by faxing or e-mailing a copy to the county, it is important to note voters must return the original, signed absentee ballot application to the county.  Emergency personnel MUST have both their voted ballot and their original absentee ballot application post marked by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.  Both the original application and the voted ballot must be received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. Nov. 13.

 Emergency personnel are defined by the governor’s order as qualified Pennsylvania electors “whose absence from their county of residence on Election Day is required by order of their employer or other organization and is directly related to efforts of the elector’s employer or other organization with which the elector is associated to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.” 

The governor’s executive order is available at 2012-16 - Absentee Ballot Procedures for Emergency Responders."

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